In general, Devonian rocks exposed north of a line from Bristol to London are of continental ‘Old Red Sandstone’ facies, while to the south a variety of marine facies predominate (Goldring et al. 1967; Selwood & Durrance 1982; Bluck et al. 1988) (Fig. 1). Thus, Devonian ostracods are mainly restricted to Devon and Cornwall, although there are records from marine horizons in South Wales. Little taxonomic work has been carried out on these faunas and only very general palaeoecological information is available. This reflects both the complex tectonic setting of the region (Selwood 1990; Selwood & Thomas 1987, 1988) and the often poor preservation of most of the ostracod material. Only with the establishment of a Late Devonian ostracod chronology in the Rheinish Slate Mountains of Germany (Rabien 1954; Krebs & Rabien 1964; Buggisch et al. 1978, 1986) have ostracods been used to resolve geological problems in Devon and Cornwall.
Figures & Tables
This book charts the stratigraphical distribution of ostracods in the Cambrian to Pleistocene deposits of Britain and outlines their utility for dating and correlating rock sequences, as well as indicating aspects of their palaeoenvironmental and palaeogeographical significance. These small bivalved crustaceans are the most abundant arthropods in the fossil record. Indeed, the stratigraphy of Britain, which embraces many type-sequences, provides a particularly rich and full record of them, from at least the basal Ordovician, and from the British Cambrian there is a biostratigraphy based on their ‘relatives’, the bradoriids and phosphatocopids. Ostracod distributions demonstrate the ecological success story of the group, occupying as they do marine, non-marine and even ‘terrestrial’ habitats. Written by current specialists in the field, this book is an authoritative account and will be welcomed by all micropalaeontologists and applied geologists in the industrial and academic world alike. It is richly illustrated with over 80 plates of electron micrographs and specially drawn maps, diagrams and range-charts.